The Brazilian music public performance collection society – ECAD – is under heavy fire. In June, 2011 a Congressional Investigation at the Brazilian Senate was triggered to investigate several alleged frauds by ECAD. The investigation started after several complaints regarding ECAD’s lack of transparency, excessive collection and lack of criteria to determine and distribute the collected amounts. One of the complaints, for example, said that an employee of one of the associations that form ECAD (there are 9 in total) used the name of a bus driver to receive more than US$ 75,000.00 due to songwriters and performers.
As a result of the 10-month investigation, with several hearings and the collection of a vast amount of documents, a 350-page report, with more than 3 thousand exhibits was produced. It is a lot to read and to digest. By the end of the day, though, the document requests the indictment of 15 people who are – or were – part of ECAD and of the associations that form ECAD for a number of different crimes, such as misappropriation of funds, auditing fraud, formation of cartel and unjust enrichment. Continue reading
I believe it is a universal truth that taxes are never reduced or eliminated. In the year 2000, Brazil instituted a new tax called CIDE (acronym for “Contribution of Intervention in the Economic Domain”) which would be levied upon payments originated from contracts that foresee the remittance of royalties, of any nature, to beneficiaries outside Brazil. The purpose of the tax is to foment the technological development of the country. Basically 10% of everything that is remitted abroad under the denomination “royalties” would have to be collected.
But why am I addressing a 12-year old tax now? Continue reading
Our first post was published exactly two years ago and our blog still exists. That is a feat in itself, considering the little time we had to invest on it.
But the feedback we have had has been so great and encouraging that, as far as we are concerned, we are here to stay. It also helps that we have been able to bring to the battle front a few other contributors because last year, for various reasons, we let the blog go unattended for several weeks in a row. However, since the end of last year, we have been able to post at least once every week and that is our goal for 2012 and beyond. Continue reading
Last March 28, the House of Representatives of the Brazilian Congress created a Special Commission to discuss the Internet Bill. I have already made my brief comments about the bill here when I reported it had been sent to Congress so that I will not go into details right now.
Suffice it to say that there is a lot of room for improvement.
In any event, it seems that Congress is at least worried about the implications of such bill and the creation of the Special Commission is indicative of that. The President of the Comission is Congressman João Arruda, from the PMDB party from the state of Paraná (South of Brazil). In declarations to one of the largest Brazilian newspapers, O Estado de São Paulo, Mr. Arruda said that “The discussion touches upon censorship. It is related to privately owned companies. And it also relates to the responsible for the investigation of crimes. It is necessary to find balance.” Continue reading
The Brazilian Federal Public Ministry filed a civil public complaint in the end of February aiming at the removal from the market of one of the most renowned and important dictionaries in Brazil – Houaiss Dictionary - under the argument that it contained “prejudiced and pejorative expressions” to define the word “gipsy” (“cigano”, in Portuguese).
The initiative was from the Federal Public Prosecutor from the city of Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais, Mr. Cléber Eustáquio Neves and the action was motivated by a representation filed by a gipsy back in 2009, which alleged that the Dictionary was discriminating its ethnic group. Continue reading
In the end of February, Bill 170/06 proposed by Congressman Valdir Raupp from PMDB and which aimed at prohibiting the manufacture, importation and distribution of offensive games in Brazil, was removed from the Senate by its own proponent.
In an official declaration, the Congressman stated that, in reviewing the bill’s content, he concluded that it could end up hurting several fundamental rights, especially freedom of speech, free enterprise and free exercise of an economic activity and that it would even allow potential censorship. Continue reading
In an update to our post here, we inform our readers that Congressman Walter Feldman has requested the withdrawal of the so-called Brazilian SOPA bill, which will no longer be voted, at least not for the time being. Continue reading